2020 was a record-breaking year in Canada for boat sales as Canadians took to the water in extraordinary numbers, according to data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada. Outboard engine retail sales in 2020 reached a total of 44,000 units, up 17% over 2019, marking both the highest annual sales volume and largest annual growth rate since 2008.
The pandemic has played a huge role in the sudden surge of consumers looking to buy a boat or looking to take their first voyage. Since the boating lifestyle promotes a fun and social distance-friendly way of enjoying the summer with family and friends, it makes sense that it has become so popular this year. NMMA Canada President, Sara Anghel said they have also seen “73% growth in people getting their Pleasure Craft Operator Card compared to 2019 levels.”
While these record numbers have been great for dealers and the industry, consumers who missed the boat, might not be sailing anywhere this summer. Due to the overwhelming demand continuing into 2021 and the semiconductor chip shortage that is slowing manufacturer output, dealers have the highest demand they’ve seen in years, with a non-existent inventory to back it up. Many dealers are waiting on inventory that won’t be delivered until very late into summer 2021 – most with waiting lists of 60 - 70 people hoping to get lucky.
It’s not just powerboats that have been sailing off the showroom floor, apparently all marine pleasure crafts are hard to come by these days.
One dealership in Barrie, ON reported selling out of their entire Sea-Doo inventory by January of this year!
Even if you can’t get out on the lake this summer, you can always get a head start on next year by contacting your local marine dealership and getting in your 2022 pre-orders as soon as possible.